Robert E. Lee

By: Carpenter Clark

Biological Sketch

  • Robert Edward Lee was born in Stratford Hall, Virginia on January 19th, 1807.
  • Brought up and influenced by a family of military greatness, Lee decided to enroll in West Pointe Military Academy.
  • After West Pointe, Lee graduated 2nd in his class and he was one of six people in the entire academy to graduate with 0 demerits
  • Lee was determined to become an extension of his family's greatness, thus providing the drive for him to succeed.
  • A year before the Civil War began, Abraham Lincoln came to Lee and asked him to command all the forces that the Union possessed. Lee declined stating that it would be "a betrayal to my home state of Virginia"
  • Lee became the CG or Cimmanding General during the Civil War for the Confederate Army
  • Due to the fact that Lee was part of a very militaristic family, this became his motivation for him to achieve military greatness in order to live up to his father's prestige

Influencial People

  • Henry Lee III- Lee's father was his main inspiration to go into the military. During the Revolutionary War, his father served as a Calvary officer in the Continental Army. His father graduated from West Point officer school and that is one main reason as to why Robert E. Lee chose this school.

Civil War Impact

  • During the Civil War, Lee was the CG of the Confederate Army and commanded all the armies of the Confederacy. He won many battles that were key for the Confederacy in the early stages of the war, however, his greatest and most costly defeat was at the Battle of Gettysburg. This stopped the invasion of the North and pushed back the Confederates with heavy casualties.

Lee' Quote

"What a cruel thing war is... to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors."

-Robert E. Lee

Compare and Contrast

  • General Robert E. Lee would have been a nice fit in the World War II time period due to the need for military minds and the want for victory. Although Lee did not enjoy war, he was willing to do what was needed in order for his country to achieve victory.That would have been a quality that the people would have loved in a commanding general.

If I had Lee's Skills

If I had Robert E. Lee's skills such as bold tactical thinking and inspirational leadership, I would use them to become possibly a military general or some sort of person in a leadership role. I would probably use these abilities to lead to accomplish things such as ends to racial prejudice or inequality that is still going on today. One reason Lee was so successful as a General is because his men respected him, hopefully if I had the same traits as him, my men would respect me as well. Having the respect of your men would be a very valuable tool that I could have when taking on this leadership role.


Due to the fact that Robert E. Lee was raised in a very Confederate south, it's concluded that he was definitely pro-slavery and pro-states rights when it comes down to it. He probably would have had different morals and beliefs had he been raised in the 21st Century. His father and family were also very militaristic so he was raised in an environment that thrived off of the military and its structure, this most likely explains why Lee was drawn to a military career.

Robert E. Lee vs. Douglas MacArthur

Lee matches up perfectly with MacAruthur because of one main trait. Loyalty. As previously stated, Lee was asked to command the entire Union army but declined because of his loyalty to Virginia. MacArthur was in the Phillipines with Marines when a Japanese attack shook the island, MacArthur stayed with the men until he could not stay anymore, due to the fact that he was a major general and capture would mean a huge political defeat, however, he vowed he would return for the captured Marines and he did with a naval counterattack a couple years later. These two men were both loyal to their fellow men even through war.


Written by Alan T. Nolan, Nolan believes that Lee was doing what he considered to be the right thing to do. In spite of his positive thoughts about Lee, the author questions the decisions of Lee saying "He was supposedly antislavery however, he was a Virginia aristocrat for the planter class that fought for a government that supported slavery". In other words, the author is somewhat confused and saying that Lee, in a way was contradicting himself. He was a soldier that supported his countries goals and was willing to fight for it. He was able to use his common and advanced knowledge of strategy and tactics to accomplish goals towards the war effort. The author really believe that Lee contradicts himself a lot. Rapidly sacrificing soldiers that he so dearly cared about or fought pointless battles with them. Overall, the tone of this book is neutral towards Mr. Lee as the author doesn't have too much evidence that Lee was bad, and vice versa.

Political Cartoon

During his lifetime, Robert E. Lee was considered to be the most loyal military man that was in active service
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Requirements for an Activist

Lee's main cause was to defeat the Union Army in the Civil War to allow the Confederate States of America to formally break away from the Union because of his views on states rights and slavery. After Jefferson Davis asked him to command the Armies of the Confederacy, his involvement with the Civil War escalated to the max, although, when Virginia succeeded from the Union, he felt that he needed to support the Cinfederacy as part of his loyalty. Through Lee's involvement in the Civil War, the Conferderacy became a serious force to be reconed with, he gave the South, the major general that they needed to put some fright into the Union. Lee used excellent battle tactics in order to gain the upper hand and accomplish his end game goals, however, he did sacrifice a lot of his men most of the times doe pointless battles. During the 21st Century, Robert E. Lee most likely would've joined the war on terrorism, mainly because his sense of patriotism and sense of duty to his country

Work Cited

  • "Robert E. Lee." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015
  • Lee, Robert E., and Ben Wynne. Recollections and Letters. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004. Print.
  • Thomas, Emory M. "Robert E. Lee." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.